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WQA reminds well owners of the importance of annual water quality testing
Homeowners, not government, are responsible for contaminant checks

LISLE, Ill. (June 28, 2018) - Homeowners who rely on a private well for their drinking water should have that water tested yearly for bacteria and contaminants, according to the Water Quality Association.  

“Even if your water looks and smells fine, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to drink,” said WQA Government Affairs Director David Loveday. “Well water can become contaminated with any number of chemicals or other contaminants, and we recommend yearly tests for the most common ones.”

 Around 15 percent of the U.S. population relies on wells or other individually owned sources of drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Water Drinking Act regulates public drinking water systems but not private sources, so it is up to the well’s owner to make sure its water is potable.

The EPA recommends yearly tests for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH levels. In addition, consumers should check with the local health department to see if there are other common local contaminants that should be checked. Some states may mandate testing for certain contaminants, according to the National Groundwater Association (NGWA). 

You might need to test more often if your home includes higher risk populations such as small children, elderly adults or pregnant or nursing women, and the EPA recommends immediate testing if there are known problems with groundwater in your area, you’ve had flooding or other disruptions, you have repaired or replaced any part of your system, or you notice a change in your water’s color, odor or taste.

WQA recommends using a certified water-testing lab; the EPA provides a list here. To find a certified water quality professional who can help you, check out

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

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